The fourth day of our trip to Japan was dedicated to two things my boyfriend and I are passionate about: sports and cats.
My boyfriend is a sports enthusiast. We often visit sports venues and events on our travels. Our trip to Japan wouldn’t be the same without some sports-related activity. Our first pick was to attend sumo, a Japanese wrestling sport. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the tournament, so we had to settle for the plan B: the baseball.
The game we wished to see was a match between Yomiuri Giants and Saitama Seibu Lions. On the morning of the match we went to the home venue of Yomiuri Giants, to the Tokyo Dome, a 55,000-seat baseball stadium. This time, the luck was on our side and we were able to buy the tickets for evening match.
Tokyo Dome is a part of entertainment complex known as Tokyo Dome City which includes shopping centre, restaurants, cafes, spa & welness, Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame, an amusement park, etc. My boyfriend is not only a sports enthusiast, he also likes adrenalin rides on roller coasters. When he saw the gigantic roller coaster named Thunder Dolphin he couldn’t resist to check it. I am not a fan of such rides. I get too scared to enjoy them. The Thunder Dolphin looked scary to me, just when I looked at it. It runs over the roof of the shopping mall! I didn’t want to suffer, and I kindly refuse when my boyfriend asked me to join him on a ride. I rather waited for him with my feet firmly on the ground. As expected, my boyfriend loved it.
There were other attractions at the amusement park: water slides, ferris wheel, carousel, haunted house et others. None of the attractions was interesting enough for us to try it, so we decided it is time to leave.
Our next stop was cat cafe Calico in Shinjuku. At this point I should mention I am a cat-person. But I guess all of you who follow my Instagram account already know that. What you probably don’t know is that I grew up in a family of animal-lovers. Our pets were a huge part of my life. Cats (there were four: Tinek, Muri, Taček and Biba) were always my favourite. It is not surprising visit of a cafe where you can pet cats was on my bucket list, since I first heard about it. Where else would be better to visit than in Japan, the country famous for its cat cafes?
After a recommendation of our friends and the fact they have over fifty cats, we decided to visit cat cafe Calico. This cat cafe is located 5th and 6th floor of Fuji Building in Kabuki-cho district of Shinjuko. With assistance of Google maps we accessed via portable wi-fi device we’ve rented for the time of our trip, we found the building and the cat cafe.
We were greeted by kind employee with very limited English skills. He handed us a list of rules how to behave inside the cat cafe written in English. After reading them, we received our “cat-access passes”, took off our shoes and left them in the free lockers provided. We’ve found the slippers in our size, washed and disinfect our hands and then we were allow to enter the area with cats. The paradise for cat lovers (i.e. me). While my boyfriend lock our bags in the lockers, I was already admiring the majestic main coon resting on one of the cat trees. As cats were not to be lift up nor woken up while sleeping, I suppressed my urge to lift him up and show him/her my love.
The area with cats was rather spacious. Cats had enough spaces for sleeping and to hide if they would be tired of humans. Some of them did take advantage of their private space and we were only able to see them through glass window.
There were lots of cat toys, some of which has seen better days.
Some of the cats looked rather bored, others were clearly having issues with other cat-roomies. Not a surprise considering the number of a cats living in a limited space.
Cats in general looked healthy. There was one cat that was clearly ill, but it was in the area where visitors couldn’t bother her.
Most of the cats were asleep, those who were awake were not too interested in our attempt of playing with them. As I’ve learn from my previous experiences with cats, the best way to get their attention is food. We bought a small container of snacks (shredded chicken). It was a good decision. We got the attention of some of the cats. The most hungry ones, even come to sit on my lap, while others were patiently waiting for their share. One grey feline beauty even gently poked my leg every few minutes. So cute. I had a blast.
As this is the cafe, you can also order drinks for yourself. As this place was clearly dedicated to cats, I had some hygiene concerns and we stayed by ordering just snacks for cats.
The time in cat cafe flew by. After we ran out of snacks, took tons of pictures and petted all the cats who were interested in interacting with us, it was time to say goodbye to cats. It was already past lunch time and we were hungry. We moved to Omotesando area where we searched for the restaurant serving different types of toknatsu, “Japanese style Wiener Schnietzel” (breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet). We’ve ordered two different types: fillet and loin. Both were served with shredded cabbage, boiled rice and miso soup. Delicious!
After finished eating, it was already time for us to head towards the Tokyo Dome to attend a baseball match – our first baseball match ever. After the regular security procedures, we’ve enter the stadium. Soon, the game started. The Japanese fans were cheering and made a great atmosphere.
The baseball as the game was a bit disappointing. Being familiar with the basic rules of the game, I thought the game will be more exciting. Despite we saw home-run, I found it too static. I got the feeling there is not much happening on the field. When something is happening, then it is over in a second. If you didn’t pay the attention to the game, you could missed all the action (as I did).
Despite baseball didn’t impress me enough I would want to see another match, attending the match was a great experience. Just seeing the Tokyo Dome and witness Japanese fans supporting their teams was worth it. But for the future, I think, I will rather stick to other team sports I like, like football (soccer).
After the match, we went to Akihabara. We were leaving Tokyo the next day. As we didn’t know if the next hotel will provide us with the plug adapter, as did the one we were staying in, we decided to buy our own. Where else we would get such thing than in Akihabara, the district famous for its numerous electronics shops. We went to the discount electronic store Yodabashi camera to buy a converter. Well, that was a challenge. The store was massive. Nine stories of electronics: computers, games, watches, cameras, etc. After realising how large the store is, I thought how could we find a tiny converter here. Luckily, here were maps describing what goods selling at each floor available. We found the correct floor and asked one of the employee to help us. He took us to the shelf with plug adapters and we found the correct one. We bought it and as it was already late, we returned back to our hotel in Asaksusa.